Research Highlights

Symmetry in 248 Dimensions
October 2007A Calculation the Size of Manhattan Mathematicians have mapped the inner workings of one of the most complicated structures ever studied: the object known as the exceptional Lie group E8. This achievement is significant both as an advance in basic knowledge and because of the many […]

MindBending Math
October 2007When viewed from the outside, a human brain appears as a volume with a highly wrinkled surface having numerous long crevices. Sulcal fundi are 3D curves that lie in the depths of the cerebral cortex; informally, the fundus of a sulcus is the curve of maximal average depth that spans the length of the sulcus. […]

Reallife NUMB3RS
October 2007In December 2005, while the IMA was in the midst of a thematic program on imaging science, a homicide investigator from Richmond, Virginia, contacted the institute about an unsolved murder. The best clue available seemed to be a service station security camera video showing the perpetrator fleeing the crime scene in a car. Unfortunately the […]

Alimentary Math
October 2007Meat and soybeans are two important food sources in many parts of the world, and in the form of biodiesel fuel, soybeans are a promising source of renewable energy. Two groups of longterm visitors to the IMA during our 20052006 program on imaging are contributing to the improved production of these important foodstuffs. […]

Spatial Model for Rabies
October 2007A human bitten by an animal with rabies will almost certainly die within days unless immediately treated with a multistage vaccine regimen initially developed by Louis Pasteur in 1885. To combat the spread of rabies today, which nationwide affects over 40,000 people annually and countless wild and domestic animals, the United States spends over $300 […]

Homological Mirror Symmetry
June 2007During the academic year of 20062007 the School of Mathematics conducted a special program in algebraic geometry. This subject, with deep classical roots, is one of the most active areas in contemporary mathematics. Especially notable are its interconnections with number theory, mathematical physics and topology. The scientific activities during the year reflected the depth and […]

Stratification Learning
June 2007Data in high dimensions is becoming ubiquitous, from image analysis and finances to computational biology and neuroscience. This data is often given or represented as samples embedded in a high dimensional Euclidean space, point cloud data, though it is assumed to belong to lower dimensional manifolds. Thus, in recent years, there have been significant efforts […]

Low Xray Exposure Imaging
June 2007The ability to “see” inside a human body has been of tremendous value to medical diagnostic. For example, it is almost impossible to properly diagnose brain tumor without being able to image the patient’s head, and very difficult to plan the complex surgery of removing the tumor without accurate threedimensional visualization of the brain itself. […]

Traffic Gridlock
May 2007In studying traffic flow in a large city grid, the following questions arise. Is there a largest traffic density that permits free flow? Is there a density above which gridlock is inevitable? In 1992 Biham, Middleton and Levine introduced a simplified model for the study of these questions, called the BML model. […]

Improved Electron Gun Design
April 2007Electron beams are employed in vacuum devices to generate very high power microwaves for many critical applications, including amplifiers in communications, television, radar guns and computer monitors, and high energy accelerators. The quality of these electron beams directly impacts the output power and efficiency that can be achieved. In a SAMSI workshop, a group of […]